Artificial Intelligence helping with skin cancer

Healthsource WJRT
Healthsource WJRT(WJRT)
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 7:42 AM EDT
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According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70. However, when detected early the five-year survival rate for melanoma, one of the deadliest cancers, is 99 percent. Now, doctors are using artificial intelligence to increase their odds of catching cancer early.

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“If you can detect a cancer early, your survival is going to increase, especially for melanoma,” explained Jill Waibel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Baptist Health.

Now a first-of-its-kind machine is helping doctors spot skin cancer early. Vectra WB360 is a total body mapping system.

“We have the ability to do the 3D images so we can see parts of the body that are not accessible with the 2D images,” described Naiara Braghiroli, MD, PhD, a dermatologist at Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute.

Using 92 cameras, the machine takes multiple pictures in less than ten seconds.

“Then the system creates, like 3D images, what we call an avatar of the patient, and we can navigate in every single lesion, every part of the skin,” illustrated Dr. Braghiroli.

The Vectra also uses artificial technology to track changes, such as size, color, and irregularities over time.

“And these are going to give us a number that’s going to tell us if the lesion is more likely to be malignant or not,” Dr. Braghiroli added.

Reducing the need for unnecessary biopsies.

“Machines are going to make us better doctors,” concluded Dr. Waibel.

Detecting cancer early and stopping it in its tracks.

The mapping system does not replace an evaluation by a dermatologist. Instead, doctors say it’s supposed to be used with a dermatologist to monitor high-risk patients. There are about 15 Vectra mapping systems in the world. Ten of them are located in the United States in New York, Virginia, and Florida.

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